japanese steel

Japanese Steel 101- Guide and Review

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Japanese steel has always been famous for its usage in making the katana or samurai sword for more than 1200 years. But it was not used to make knives often at the beginning. After the end of World War II, Japanese government of that time enforced a sword ban which resulted in the sword makers to turn their creativity into making knives. That’s how the journey of knives in Japanese cutlery began and eventually proved to be one of the best types of the knife in the world now. The secret behind best Japanese knives being high quality and exceptional performances mostly depend on the types of steel used to make them.

List of Japanese Steel

Defining characteristics of Japanese kitchen knives are famous for their toughness, sharpness, edge quality, ease of sharpening and edge life. Like every material in the existence, there are certain advantages and limitations in each steel according to the structural and chemical characteristics of it with respect to the applications. But proper processing and heat management can highlight the features innate to the steel and such.

Steel can be categorized in two broad groups. They are stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel excellent resistance against rust but becomes dull easily. Carbon steel has excellent edge retention but is more prone to rust. That is why knives are made with the combination of stainless steel and carbon steel. The different company utilizes different ration of those two steels to gain their desired product.

  • Damascus Steel
  • VG-10 Steel
  • VG-10 Super Steel
  • VG-1 Steel
  • AUS-10 Steel
  • AUS-8 Steel
  • VG-2 Steel

  • VG-Max Steel
  • Blue Steel
  • Super Blue Steel
  • Suminagashi Blue Steel
  • White Steel
  • Suminagashi White Steel


Damascus Steel

Damascus steel was a type of steel utilized for crafting sword blades with wootz steel in the Near East. The Near East is a geographical designation that roughly encloses Western Asia. The wootz steel is a crucible steel distinguishable by patterns of bands. The swords made with Damascus steel were identified by characteristic patterns of banding and mottling of flowing water. These blades were known for their resistance to shattering and their ability to be sharpened to a very sharp edge with excellent edge retention. Before early 20th century, every shotgun barrels were made with Damascus steel. Some of its application is in making very beautiful razors nowadays. Damascus steel is also being used in hunting and military weapons besides being mostly used for cutlery knives.

The steel is named after the famous trading center, Damascus which is present-day Syria. The name may have originated either because the swords were made or sold in Damascus directly, or maybe because of the distinctive patterns of the steel, most likely how the name of Damask fabrics came to be which themselves were named after Damascus.

Damascus_japanese steel

The history of Damascus steel is long and thus its reputation has caused many legends to be created.  An example would the about the sharpness of the steel that it can cut through the barrel of a rifle easily. The Arabs brought the wootz steel from India and the Middle East to Damascus and after precise procedures, the steel became the famous Damascus steel. From India, wootz steel was shipped in from the 3rd century to the 17th century. But the creation of these patterned steels eventually declined and finally stopped around 1750. Gradually, the production methods were lost and till these day the methods elude the modern researchers.

Damascus steel is considered as part of experimental archaeology. Since the techniques to make the steel has been lost, over the years many people have tried to uncover the process or simply reverse-engineering the manufacturing method. Unfortunately, various attempts to recreate it have not been successful because of the differences between raw materials and manufacturing methods.

The Modern Damascus steel blades are constructed from assorted types of steel and iron strips welded together to create a billet. Because of the iron strips, the steel acquires the necessary hardness on a molecular level. Therefore, the billet can be stretched and folded as much as the layers required. According to the American Bladesmith Society (ABS), in order to receive a Master Smith rating, the Damascus blade must be made with a minimum of 300 layers.

Some advantages of Damascus Steel

  • The swords made of this steel was famous for their toughness and resilience to hold the edge.
  • Due to the pattern shape design in the blade, it is very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
  • The design of a single knife will not appear in the world twice as the folding and layering process varies from craftsman to craftsman.
  • The multi-layered style of folding the steel makes the blade strong and durable.
  • The knives made with Damascus steel have better chip-resistance and almost rustproof than most knives available in the market.

Some limitations of Damascus Steel

  • As the original method of creation for this steel has been lost, there are a lot of bad quality imitations available in the market.
  • Due to varying production process, the knives are very expensive.

Modern Damascus steel is still being researched thoroughly to reach to its true legacy. Now it is mainly used to make the variety of knives. Curving, serrated and hunting knives are some of such knives. Not only the Damascus steel made knives contain very beautiful design but also are tough and long-lasting.


VG-10 Steel

VG-10 steel is a designation for a specific type of cutlery grade stainless steel. The acronym VG-10 represents V-Gold No. 10 or V-Kin No. 10. The gold stands for quality which indicates the gold standard. Likewise, in Japanese, kin symbolizes gold. It is manufactured in Japan by the Takefu Special Steel Company mostly for its usage in creating various sorts of knives.

The VG-10 steel scores around 60 to 61 HRC in Rockwell scale, although sometimes it might get 62 HRC. The Rockwell scale is a number scale to determine the hardness of a material. The steel is high in density thus allowing it to be tempered to achieve the score in Rockwell scale.

Echizen is a small city in Fukui Prefecture in Japan. In spite of the fact that it is small in both size and population, it has a long history of creating artisanal specialties including the famous Japanese handmade paper, washi. Echizen is also renowned for its blade maker’s traditions of making blades and agricultural tools for more than 700 years and still today the blade making industry thrives there.vg10 japanese steel

Among the many crafters, the Takefu Special Steel Company obtained worldwide recognition with its proprietary steel for its outstanding qualities. That exceptional steel is VG-10. Originally it was only used in Japan but nowadays it is widespread in the whole world. Recently, a company in China named Kizer has been making their knives with VG-10 steel with a much less price-tag compared to its other competitors. Furthermore, the company Miyabi uses VG-10 steel in their knives but it is credited as CMV60 as an alias.

VG-10 is a stainless steel containing high amount of Carbon (C). The material contains 1 percent of Carbon (C); 15 percent of Chromium (Cr); 1.5 percent of Cobalt (Co); 0.5 percent of Manganese (Mn); 1 percent of Molybdenum (Mo) and 0.2 percent of Vanadium (V). It is made with cladding which is the process for dissimilar metals to create bonding between each other thus making use of each metal’s strength to create a stronger product. Usage of Chromium (Cr); Cobalt (Co) and Molybdenum (Mo) ensures stronger atomic structure. This provides a prevention mechanism against breakings of carbide bonding. Addition of Vanadium (V) creates hard carbide bonds thus improving abrasion resistance. Furthermore, Heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale.

Some advantages of VG-10 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel is famous for its durability and good edge retention.
  • The steel exhibit the corrosion resistance ability of the stainless steel with the hardness of the carbon steel.
  • The knives produced with this steel are very easy to sharpen up.
  • The knives are cost-effective than most other knives.

Some limitations of VG-10 Steel

  • This steel is not ideal for the saltwater environment.
  • One characteristic of knives made of VG-10 steel is the blade is thick behind the edge. As the user first needs to familiarize with the knife by using it in a regular basis, it requires some time to get expected performance out of it.
  • The knives produced with this steel are not suitable for rigorous tasks such as breaking through bones.

VG-10 steel is prominent in the knife making industry in not only in Japan but also is one of the most sought after steel in the world. The knives made of this steel was originally directed towards the chefs in Japan but now it is known in the whole world. It is not only used to make cutlery knives but also used to make hunting; tactical and pocket knives.


VG-10 Super Steel

VG-10 Super steel is being used to make Kasumi Knives by Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Japan. Kasumi VG-10 Pro Series is one the product lines offered by the company within the Kasumi range. The company uses advanced materials in accordance to the most advanced manufacturing procedures to produce such knives. VG-10 Super steel is such a material.

Seki can be called the cutlery capital of Japan. It is positioned in the center of the Japanese Archipelago with more than 800 years of history in cutlery. In early 1200, swordsmiths came to be in Seki. The techniques and manufacturing methods used then were unique to Japan only. These traditional methods were eventually handed down to the next generation with the passing of time. Such techniques are still being used to make knives with VG-10 Super steel. Sumikama Cutlery is the original maker of VG-10 Super steel knives.

The Kasumi VG-10 Pro Series knives are made from a single piece of VG-10 steel which contains high amount of Carbon (C). Because it contains high Carbon (C) content the VG-10 steel is called VG-10 Super steel. As the steel is high in density, it has the ability to be tempered to achieve the score of around 60 to 61 HRC in Rockwell scale. Heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale. Due to the steel’s natural disposition to stay straight, the edge of the blade straightens itself naturally. The hardness and flexibility of the steel allows the blade to withstand and maintain a perfect edge.  All the knives are handmade by the skilled craftsmen in Seki, Japan.

Some advantages of VG-10 Super Steel

  • The knives made with this steel can maintain a perfect edge for a long time.
  • The knives are easy to sharpen.
  • Because the amount of Carbon (C) is high, the steel is very resilient.

Some limitations of VG-10 Super Steel

  • The knives made with this steel is very expensive than knives made with VG-10 steel.

VG-10 Super steel is mainly used by Sumikama Cutlery. The edge is beveled in the knives made with the steel and usually kept at 15 degrees angle with a full tang and no bolster.


VG-1 Steel

VG-1 steel is a designation for a specific type of cutlery grade stainless steel. The acronym VG-1 represents V-Gold No. 1. It is produced by Takefu Special Steel Company in Japan which also produces VG-10 steel. It is not the same steel as VG-10, in fact it is the predecessor steel. The VG-1 steel scores around 58 to 61 HRC in Rockwell scale. Now only the company Cold Steel uses the VG-1 steel among the major knife making companies in the world.

VG-1 is a stainless steel containing high amount of Carbon (C) and Molybdenum (Mo). The material contains between 0.95 to 1.05 percent of Carbon (C); between 13 to 15 percent of Chromium (Cr); between 0.2 to 0.4 percent of Molybdenum (Mo) and less than 0.25 percent of Nickel (Ni). Chromium (Cr) and Molybdenum (Mo) creates hard double carbide bonds while forging and in the process raises the corrosion resistance of the steel. Moreover, Heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale.

Some advantages of VG-1 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel can maintain a perfect edge for a long time.
  • VG-1 steel gains a keen edge more easily than VG-10 steel while sharpening.
  • VG-1 steel is tougher than VG-10 steel.

Some limitations of VG-1 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel does not have the ability to an edge as long as a knife made with VG-10 steel can.
  • VG-1 steel is more prone to rust than VG-10 steel.
  • The knives made with this steel is more expensive than VG-10 steel.
  • This steel is more prone to chipping of the blade.

VG-1 steel possesses better sharpness and strength than other stainless steels. Apart from being utilized in making kitchen knives, it is also used to make hairdresser’s scissors, kitchen knives, and blades for food-processing machines.


AUS-10 Steel

AUS-10 steel is a stainless steel. It is also known as AUS-10A steel or for short simply 10A steel. This steel is made by Aichi Foundry situated in Japan and one of the best product among the AUS series of steel. Some companies except for Aichi Foundry name their steel as AUS-10A steel instead of AUS-10 steel in an attempt to differentiate. The knives made with AUS-10 steel is very durable; resistant to rust; easier to sharpen. AUS-10 steel provides better performance than AUS-8 steel in case of edge retention and holding a sharper edge.

AUS-10 steel scores around 58 to 60 HRC in Rockwell scale. This steel is of the same standard as the 440C considering the Carbon (C) content on both of them but the AUS-10 steel is marginally tougher than the 440C steel. The 440C steel is considered to be one of the best stainless steel with being mostly used in cutlery industries. Now only the company Cold Steel uses the AUS-10 steel among the major knife making companies in the world.japanese steel

AUS-10 steel is a very refined stainless steel with high amount of Carbon (C) content in it. The higher amount of carbon dictates greater edge retention. The corrosion resistance of this steel is similar to ATS steels. The material contains between 0.95 to 1.1 percent of Carbon (C); between 13 to 14.5 percent of Chromium (Cr); 0.5 percent of Manganese (Mn); between 0.1 to 0.31 percent of Molybdenum (Mo); 0.49 percent of Nickel (Ni); 0.04 percent of Phosphorus (P); 1 percent of Silicon (Si); 0.3 percent of Sulfur (S) and between 0.1 to 0.27 percent of Vanadium (V).  

Due to the high amount of Carbon (C) content the steel gains greater hardness. The presence of Molybdenum (Mo) makes the steel harder to sharpen on the other hand presence of Vanadium (V) counters the problem. Furthermore, Heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale. Aichi Foundry is very strict with their heat treatment producers and requirements.

Some advantages of AUS-10 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  • The products made with the steel is of good quality.
  • The hardness of the steel make sure that the knives will not break under pressure easily while sharpening.
  • The steel has greater rust and corrosion resistance.
  • The knives made with them for most cases are reasonably priced.

Some limitations of AUS-10 Steel

  • The steel itself is very expensive to acquire and refine.
  • The knives require frequent sharpening as it has slightly inferior edge retention ability.

AUS-10 steel is very similar to worldwide famous VG-10 steel with slight differences existing between them. This steel is suitable for making large and well-balanced knives like for an example the Gyuto. The steel is processed with cold forging technique thus increasing the density of the stainless steel.


AUS-8 Steel

AUS-8 steel is a stainless steel. It is also known as AUS-8A steel or for short simply 8A steel which is made by Aichi Foundry situated in Japan and one of the best product among the AUS series of steel. It can be considered as a mid-level steel compared to other premier steels. Some companies except for Aichi Foundry name their steel as AUS-8A steel instead of AUS-8 steel in an attempt to differentiate.

The knives made with AUS-8 steel is very durable and better resistant to rust and wear. AUS-8 steel provides better performance than AUS-6 steel in case of hardenability and resistance to wear. AUS-8 steel scores around 58 to 60 HRC in Rockwell scale. This steel is of the same standard as the 440B considering the Carbon (C) content on both of them and the AUS-10 steel is often chosen as the replacement for the 440C steel. The 440B steel is considered to be one of the best stainless steel with even higher Carbon (C) content than the 440A steel. Now only the company Cold Steel uses the AUS-8 steel among the major knife making companies in the world.

AUS-8 steel is a very refined stainless steel with high amount of Carbon (C) content in it. The higher amount of carbon dictates greater edge retention. The corrosion resistance of this steel is similar to ATS steels. The material contains between 0.7 to 0.75 percent of Carbon (C); between 13 to 14.5 percent of Chromium (Cr); 0.5 percent of Manganese (Mn); between 0.1 to 0.31 percent of Molybdenum (Mo); 0.49 percent of Nickel (Ni); 0.04 percent of Phosphorus (P); 1 percent of Silicon (Si); 0.3 percent of Sulfur (S) and between 0.1 to 0.27 percent of Vanadium (V).

The main difference between AUS-8 steel and AUS-10 steel is the amount of Carbon (C). AUS-10 steel has more Carbon (C) content than AUS-8 steel. In accordance with knife marketing definition, the steel still contains high amount of Carbon (C) content thus AUS-8 steel gains greater hardness. The presence of Molybdenum (Mo) makes the steel harder to sharpen on the other hand presence of Vanadium (V) counters the problem. Furthermore, Heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale. Aichi Foundry is very strict with their heat treatment producers and requirements.

Some advantages of AUS-8 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  • The hardness of the steel make sure that the knives will not break under pressure easily while sharpening.
  • The steel has greater rust and corrosion resistance.
  • The knives made with them for most cases are reasonably priced.

Some limitations of AUS-8 Steel

  • The knives require frequent sharpening as it has slightly inferior edge retention ability.

AUS-8 steel is suitable for making good quality knives. Though the performance can be slightly inferior to other premium knives but it is worth for its price range. Because of its similarities with 440B steel, AUS-8 steel is usually used to mass produce knives.


VG-2 Steel

VG-2 steel is a designation for a specific type of cutlery grade stainless steel. The acronym VG-2 represents V-Gold No. 2. It is produced by Takefu Special Steel Company in Japan which also produces VG-10 and VG-1 steel. The VG-2 steel scores around 62 HRC in Rockwell scale.

VG-2 is a stainless steel containing high amount of Carbon (C) and Molybdenum (Mo). It is a standard semi alloy strong stainless steel. It contains less amount of Carbon (C) than VG-1 steel. In accordance with knife marketing definition, the steel still contains high amount of Carbon (C) content. The material contains between 0.6 to 0.7 percent of Carbon (C); between 13 to 15 percent of Chromium (Cr); less than 0.25 percent of Copper (Cu); between 0.1 to 0.2 percent of Molybdenum (Mo) and less than 0.25 percent of Nickel (Ni). The component ratio of the steel is well balanced thus creates uniform carbide compositions to increase corrosion resistance. Furthermore, heat treatment is utilized to attain the necessary score in Rockwell scale.

Some advantages of VG-2 Steel

  • The hardness of the steel makes sure that the knives will not break under pressure easily while sharpening.
  • The steel has more stain and scratch resistance and toughness than VG-1 steel.
  • This steel is used to make budget knives of assorted types and qualities.
  • The steel is also used as laminating material.

Some limitations of VG-2 Steel

  • The knives require frequent sharpening as it has slightly inferior edge retention ability.
  • The steel itself is expensive and tougher to work with.
  • The knives made of this steel are not suitable for hard cutting.

VG-2 steel is not as well-known as other VG series steel. All the VG series steel are produced by Takefu Special Steel Company in Japan. Nowadays, VG-2 steel is mainly used for laminating another material or in budget knives.


VG-Max Steel

VG-Max steel is the newest edition in the VG steel series. It is one of the super steels that has gained worldwide appreciation as one of the finest steels being used in the cutlery industries. This steel is based on VG-10 steel and essentially an improved version of it. Increasing the materials to further improve an already famous steel like VG-10 steel is the ultimate reason behind this advanced steel’s discovery, maximizing the output product. It is truly as the name suggests, a Max steel. VG-Max stands for V-Gold-Max. This steel is owned by Shun and manufactured in Seki, Japan. The VG-2 steel scores between 60 to 61 HRC in Rockwell scale.vg max japanese steel

VG-Max contains additional ingredients on top of what VG-10 steel already contained. The additional amount of Carbon (C) is added to increase strength and durability also amount of Chromium (Cr) is increased to improve the wear and corrosion resistance. Likewise, an additional amount of Cobalt (Co) enhances strength and increasing the amount of Tungsten (W) makes the steel to be very fine-grained thus the edge of the blade can be extremely sharp. The presence of Molybdenum (Mo) improves the corrosion resistance and the presence of Vanadium (V) allows the steel to form carbides thus enhancing the sharpness of the edge.

Some advantages of VG-2 Steel

  • The steel has better edge retention than VG-10 steel.
  • The hardness of the steel makes sure that the knives will not break under pressure easily while sharpening.
  • The steel has the ability to retain the edge of the knives longer.
  • The knives made with this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.

Some limitations of VG-2 Steel

  • The knives made with this steel is very expensive.

VG-Max steel is one of the advanced and efficient steel in use nowadays. Though the VG-10 steel has more fame than this particular steel but VG-Max will eventually reach that height. It is very well on the way to reach such attainment.


Blue Steel

Blue steel is also known as Aogami steel. It is a Japanese steel made by Hitachi which is also be identified as Blue paper steel. This particular name is referring to the color of the wrapping. This does not mean that the steel is blue in color. This steel is a carbon steel. The Blue steel scores between 60 to 62 HRC in Rockwell scale.

Blue steel contains Carbon (C) and Iron (Fe) as well as small amount of Phosphorus (P) and Sulfur (S). Chromium (Cr) and Tungsten (W) are added later on. Addition of these two elements decreases the temperature of hardening and also improves the wear resistance. Improvement of wear resistance ensure longer sharpness retention. Depending on the amount of Carbon (C) content, the steel is classified in two groups. Blue steel 1 contains between 1.2 to 1.4 percent Of Carbon (C) and Blue steel 2 contains between 1 to 1.2 percent of Carbon (C). Blue steel 1 contains a higher amount of Carbon (C) than Blue steel 2. During the power grinding steps, Blue steel produces relevantly fewer and smaller sparks.blue steel japanese knife

Some advantages of Blue Steel

  • The steel has greater edge retention.
  • The hardness of the steel makes sure that the knives will not break under pressure easily while sharpening.
  • The steel has the ability to retain the edge of the knives longer.
  • The knives made of this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.

Some limitations of Blue Steel

  • The knives made of this steel is very expensive.
  • The steel itself is very hard to work with.

Blue steel is one of the finest steel that can be found in Japan. With exceptional sharpness and edge retention, it has created a place for it among the world.


Super Blue Steel

Super Blue steel or more commonly known as Aogami Super blue Steel is one of the finest carbon steel material in the cutlery industry. The knives made with this steel is famous for its exceptional sharpness. It is manufactured in Japan by Hitachi. The Super Blue steel scores between 60 to 65 HRC in Rockwell scale.

Super Blue steel is a mix of carbon steel that can be considered as the peak a carbon steel can achieve. Carbon steel can achieve exceptional sharpness and Super Blue steel is an ideal example. The material contains between 1.4 to 1.5 percent of Carbon (C); between 0.3 to 0.5 percent of Chromium (Cr); between 0.2 to 0.3 percent of Manganese (Mn); 0.025 percent of Phosphorus (P); between 0.1to 0.2 percent of Silicon (Si); 0.004 percent of Sulfur (S); between 0.3 to 0.5 percent of Vanadium (V) and between 2 to 2.5 percent of Tungsten (W). The added Vanadium (V) improves wear resistance.

Some advantages of Super Blue Steel

  • The steel has greater edge retention.
  • The steel has the ability to retain the edge of the knives longer.
  • The knives made of this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  • Some limitations of Super Blue Steel
  • The knives made of this steel is very expensive.
  • The steel itself is very hard to work with.
  • The knives made of this steel will discolor as it is being used.

Super Blue steel one of the best carbon steel knife and it allows for an insanely sharp edge that is the best of carbon steel. Moritaka and Takeda is considered to be one of the most famous creators using this steel.

Suminagashi Blue Steel

Suminagashi Blue steel is a part of the Blue steel family.It means flowing ink and it refers to the beautiful wave-like pattern existing in the knives made with this steel. This steel scores in between 62 to 64 in Rockwell scales.

Figure 12: Yoshihiro Aoko Blue Steel Suminagashi Damascus Kiritsuke Japanese Knife

Like other Blue steels, Suminagashi Blue steel is also crafted from carbon steels. It is made with layering method with Blue steel 1 or Blue steel 2 and adding different soft and hard steels. The layers go through forging and hardening process to gain its incredible sharpness.

Some advantages of Suminagashi Blue Steel

  • The steel has excellent edge retention.
  • The knives made of this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  •  The steel is abrasion resistant.
  • This steel overcomes the shortcomings of Blue steel 1 and Blue steel 2.

Some limitations of Suminagashi Blue Steel:

  • The knives made with this steel needs to be taken care of regularly as they are not stainless.
  • The knives require regular sharping to get better performances.

Suminagashi Blue steel made knives are not only very beautiful but also presents wicked sharpness and performance.


White Steel

White steel is also known as Shirogami steel. It is a Japanese steel made by Hitachi. It can also be identified as White paper steel. Like Blue steel, this particular name is referring to the color of the wrapping. This steel is a near pure carbon steel.

White steel is classified in 2 categories based on the amount of Carbon (C) content. They are: White steel 1 and White steel 2. White steel 1 contains between 1.25 to 1.35 percent of Carbon (C); between 0.2 to 0.3 percent of Manganese (Mn); 0.25 percent of Phosphorus (P); between 0.1 to 0.2 percent of Silicon (Si); 0.004 percent of Sulfur (S). On the other hand, White steel 2 contains between 1.05 to 1.15 percent of Carbon (C); between 0.2 to 0.3 percent of Manganese (Mn); 0.25 percent of Phosphorus (P); between 0.1 to 0.2 percent of Silicon (Si); 0.004 percent of Sulfur (S). White steel 2 has less Carbon (C) content than White steel 1.

Some advantages of White Steel

  • The steel has excellent edge retention.
  • The knives made of this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  • The steel is abrasion resistant.

Some limitations of White Steel

  • White steel 1 is very tough to work with.
  • White steel 1 can be brittle.
  • The knives made with this steel needs to be taken care of regularly as they are not stainless.
  • The knives require regular sharping to get better performances.

White steel is among the most widespread steel in Japan for making kitchen knives.

Suminagashi White Steel

Suminagashi White steel is a part of the White steel family. The word means flowing ink and it refers to the beautiful wave-like pattern existing in the knives made with this steel. This steel scores in between 62 to 64 in Rockwell scales.

Like other White steels, Suminagashi Blue steel is also crafted from carbon steels. It is made with layering method with White steel 1 or White steel 2 and adding different soft and hard steels. The layers go through forging and hardening process to gain its incredible sharpness.Best Japanese Deba Knife

Some advantages of Suminagashi White Steel

  • The steel has excellent edge retention.
  • The knives made of this steel can be sharpened very easily and can attain a perfect edge.
  • The steel is abrasion resistant.
  • This steel overcomes the shortcomings of White steel 1 and White steel 2.

Some limitations of Suminagashi White Steel

  • The knives made with this steel needs to be taken care of regularly as they are not stainless.
  • The knives require regular sharping to get better performances.

Suminagashi White steel made knives are very beautiful. They are not that widespread but they still are worthy to be used by both the home and professional cooks.

In conclusion, there are many steels available in Japan and those steel are used to make a lot of different tools including kitchen knives. Every steel has their own set of unique characteristics and some advantages with some limitations as well. Every steel has usage in different ways and the knife making industry is still improving with the advancement of researchers being done on these steels.

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